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3 college students missing from beach in Shizuoka in central Japan

Police officers and firefighters search for three missing college students on a beach in the central Japan city of Shizuoka on Aug. 23, 2018. (Mainichi)

SHIZUOKA -- Three college students aged between 19 and 20 have gone missing from a beach here in central Japan, possibly carried away by high waves, Shizuoka Prefectural Police said on Aug. 23.

Police and coast guard officials are searching for the youths -- one woman and two men -- from Shizuoka University. Their absence was confirmed after a 70-year-old man reported to the police at around 6:10 a.m. on Aug. 23 that he found bags and other belongings left unattended on the beach in the Takamatsu district of the city's Suruga Ward.

A smartphone presumably left by the youngsters on the beach contained footage of them playing with fireworks at around 11 p.m. on Aug. 22. What appeared to be their bicycles were found nearby.

According to the Shizuoka Local Meteorological Office, a high-wave warning was active in the early hours of Aug. 23 for the central part of Shizuoka Prefecture including the beach where the three youngsters went missing.

(Japanese original by Yukina Furukawa and Nobuyuki Shimada, Shizuoka Bureau)

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